The City of Los Angeles has deemed May “Mental Health Is Health Month” and has recruited Jhene Aiko to be a mental health ambassador. Throughout her career, the six-time Grammy nominee has been open about her mental health and during a ceremony at city hall, she spoke about how music is therapeutic and helped her cope with her own issues.
“When I started to write and do music, it was my personal therapy to help me get through things,” she said. “I didn’t know about therapy, I didn’t know a lot about mental illness or depression or anxiety. And I just found that turning my pain and suffering into some form of art, transforming it into art, really helped me get through it. It helped me to realize that the reason why I do what I do is to help others get through what they’re going through.”
“Mental Health Is Health Month” is a collaborative effort between Didi Hirsch, a mental health center in Los Angeles, and Councilmember Nithya Raman’s office. Throughout the month of May, there will be different social media campaigns launched in order to help destigmatize mental health and normalize opening up about our struggles. According to a press release, the campaigns via Didi Hirsch include:
- How I Look/How I Feel Challenge on social media, will encourage participants to post the juxtaposition of how they look with an image depicting how they “really” feel inside.
- For Ask a Therapist, Didi Hirsch will invite one to two influencer therapists to answer questions on their Instagram account every week.
- In a daily Just Checking on You campaign, Didi Hirsch’s Instagram followers can look forward to a different influencer and VIP checking in to ask how they’re doing and feeling.
- The Power of Donation will educate audiences that, as a collective, their contribution will make an impact, especially in our communities most vulnerable to recent traumas and long-standing inequities.
Aiko and other ambassadors will be sharing their own mental health journeys throughout the month as well.